Facebook ' fully committed' to sharing Russian ad data

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says Congress should 'absolutely' release Russia adverts

Facebook has "an enormous responsibility" for Russian interference in US election

Previously, Facebook declined to make the ads public.

Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Thursday the company was fully committed to helping USA congressional investigators publicly release Russia-backed political ads that ran during the 2016 US election.

The company disclosed last month that it found ads linked to fake accounts - likely run from Russian Federation - that sought to influence the election.

Sandberg said the company began hearing rumors of Russian attempts to use the platform to spread propaganda around election day, but did not give a precise timeline about when the company began its review.

This is an ongoing investigation, the new information will be posted as being reported.

Congress has been investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with the country to win the election.

"Things happened on our platform in this election that should not have happened, especially troubling foreign interference in a democratic election", she said. She said Facebook hopes to "set a new standard in transparency in advertising".

Facebook found the ads on its network and said they had appeared in the months preceding and following the election on November 8. While the company prohibits certain content such as hate speech, it does not want to prevent free expression, she said. "When you allow free expression, you allow free expression". Sandberg is no stranger to Washington.

Sandberg and others from Facebook were asked to appear before congressional panels earlier this week to provide the information. Sandberg promised that a person of color would be added to the board soon - though Richmond noted that the Facebook made similar promises to improve diversity when representatives met with the CBC two years ago.

"What we really owe the American people is determination" to do "everything we can" to defend against threats and foreign interference, Sandberg said.

Some 470 accounts spent a total of approximately $100,000 between June 2015 to May 2017 on ads that touted fake or misleading news, according to Facebook.

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